Dole Plantation Review, Oahu Hawaii

Dole Plantation Review, Oahu Hawaii

Our visit to the Dole Pineapple Plantation was spontaneous, not sponsored. All opinions and advice reflect our actual experience!

After six straight days of thunderstorms across the islands, I asked Ben if we could please try to find the sun. We’d been able to have some really fun adventures during cloudy breaks in the rain, but I was ready for some lighter weather. I’m not such a tough girl.

Well, we couldn’t escape the rain, but Ben sure did everything possible trying! His technique was to drive toward the part of the island which was scheduled to see rain last, and follow the bit of clear space as it moved across the island.

That’s how we ended up at the Dole Pineapple Plantation in Wahiawa, Oahu.

Of course I was interested in going there- it’s a food sight, for goodness’ sake- but I honestly had no idea how invigorating a place it would be. After 2 busy sunny days (finally!), I still consider this plantation visit one of the best things we did on our trip!

Dole Pineapple Plantation Wahiawa, O’ahu

First of all, the cat is out of the bag on this one. It’s no secret spot. We entered into a giant gift store with everything from pineapple candy to stuffed pineapple dolls, t-shirts, coasters, hats, sunglasses, pillows, shot glasses, etc. and people speaking all sorts of languages crowded together considering it all.

We were all brought together by our love of pineapple. Or  by seeking a refuge from the storm.

We had a great time laughing over the many, many, many items for sale and which would be amazing gag gifts for our family. It’s hard not to get sucked into a place like that!

The pineapple plantation also offers a tour via the Pineapple Express train, a Dole plantation maze, a pineapple garden, pineapple cutting demonstrations, and fish feeding pond, but the real reason to stop in is…. drum roll…. THE DOLE WHIPS.

World Famous Dole Pineapple Whip

What is the secret to this incredible pineapple soft serve? Seriously. I need to know. We’re about to travel around the world and I have no know where I can get (or make) my next fix!

We made the agonizing decision to order the Pineapple Waffle Cone ($9.95) with one giant swirl of soft serve + pineapple chunks and strawberry topping vs. the Pineapple Split ($26.95) which is three towers of soft serve inside a pineapple quarter.  It was tempting, but we hadn’t eaten lunch yet and too much sugar on an empty stomach just hurts. You really can’t blame us.

The Waffle Cone was still more than we could finish, delicious though it was. Oooooooh it was good. Except for the 3 heaps of canned pineapple which stuffed the bottom of the waffle, ironically.

Dole Pineapple Plantation Review

Pineapple at the Dole Plantation

After our sweet treat we dragged ourselves to a pineapple garden with informative placards on how the farm operates. To be honest, it seems like a really inefficient fruit. The plants have to be hand planted, take 18 months to produce their first of 3 fruits over a 45-month lifespan, require hand harvesting, and take up a lot of space to store and ship in freight ships or airplane to Mainland, U.S.A.

But people seem to like it! And as long as the Dole Pineapple Whips keep coming I’m a happy camper. Grow your pineapples however you see fit.

We didn’t pay for the official garden tour, the Pineapple Express train ride, or the Dole plantation maze because seeing the zany pineapple-themed items in the gift store, reading about how pineapples are harvested, and eating our Dole Whip sundae felt very satisfying. I just didn’t feel the need to prolong the trip when we had already done more pineapple things than we thought possible!

 

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27 Comments

  1. While I’m still experimenting with quantities I have been able to recreate the resemblance of dole whip flavor at home. Start with Vanilla ice cream (I use homestyle-can’t be vanilla bean), add some pineapples and pineapple juice. Combine them in a blender and let them refreeze a bit in the freezer. It’s not perfect but is close enough to curb the cravings!

  2. Yummm! What I fun unexpected experience. I love those unplanned fun times. Especially when it includes a sweet treat! Thanks for spreading the word of this fun adventure ❤️

  3. It looks like you had an amazing trip! I would definitively put visit the Dole Plantation on my list of things to do should I ever end up on the island. Obviously, I’d need a dole whip or two!

  4. I have heard so much about the Dole Whip but I have never had one. I am sad that when I went to Disney I didn’t get one. I heard about them right after we got back.

  5. I can’t believe your Hawaii visit got rained out! It’s so unfair – but I have to admit the fact that you found this little gem (can it be a gem if everyone knows about it?) is amazing! Pineapples are such a funny fruit. I thought they grew on a tree or bush or something before I went to Hawaii. It’s so weird how they actually grow! Good luck finding more of your Pineapple whip!

  6. Don’t go to the plantation! It’s a waste of your time and money. My husband and I were just there in January. It’s a huge tourist trap. The “train” (small tractor?) ride just drives past the fields and rusted equipment. There is a recording with obnoxious music to listen to. We did not go through the garden. We also thought the maze was meh. If you have ever been in a corn maze this is not at all impressive or worth your money. The pineapple cutting demonstration was abour 3 min long and just ok. Also we did not love the pineapple whip. We love pineapple and ice cream, but this just didn’t cut it for us. Don’t waste your time and money. Keep driving past and go up to the north shore instead.

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